11 Grilled Eggplant Recipes Made for the Summer Grill

Summer squash and corn may be the typical stars of the show when it comes to grilled summer vegetables, but in my world, it's all about the eggplant. There's just something about it that I can't get enough of, especially when grilled. There are so many grilled eggplant recipes that can easily replace meat as a main meal or be turned into a quick appetizer to satisfy your guests. And cooking it over the grill on a beautiful summer day only seems to make it taste that much better.

When you're firing up the grill this summer, pick up an eggplant and try one of these incredible grilled eggplant recipes. From the classic pairings to some new twists, there's a recipe here for everyone to enjoy.

1. Grilled Mini Eggplant Pizzas

We absolutely adore this grilled eggplant recipe. It's great for when you're craving pizza, but trying to go the low-carb route. It also makes for a tasty appetizer at dinner parties. Plus, it only requires seven savory ingredients.

Get the recipe here.

Chef's Note: For a thicker crust pizza, you'll want 1-inch slices. For thinner crust style pizza, slice the eggplant in 1/2-inches slices.

2. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

This is unlike any eggplant parmesan you've had before. Focusing more on the flavors of the veggies rather than the breading, blistered cherry tomatoes with roasted garlic are combined with grilled medium eggplant rounds, chunks of burrata cheese, a sprinkle of parmesan, a handful of garlic and herb golden brown breadcrumbs, and fresh basil to top it off.

While you could make the whole thing the old fashioned way in the oven, by grilling the eggplant you achieve a perfect texture that also adds a complex smoky flavor to compliment the whole dish.

Get the recipe here.

3. Eggplant Pesto Roll-Ups

This easy recipe is a great appetizer for a summer barbecue. Keeping things simple, brush eggplant slices with extra-virgin olive oil, then place eggplant on the grill for a few minutes until each side gets those nice grill lines. Then stuff each eggplant with a mixture of pesto, creamy ricotta and lemon juice.

This would also taste phenomenal if the eggplant was marinated in balsamic vinegar. Either way, it's best to grab a couple eggplants because your guests will devour these faster than you can make them.

Get the recipe here.

4. Grilled Eggplant Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

This is not your traditional grilled summer salad. This recipe is a hearty, citrusy eggplant salad and it's simple to make. To grill eggplant, cut lengthwise, brush with olive oil, then grill over medium-high heat until nicely charred. Then drizzle the slices with a mustard and herb vinaigrette and top with micro greens.

Get the recipe here.

5. Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant

One of my favorite Minimalist Baker recipes is this tantalizing eggplant dish. Inspired by jerk chicken, this grilled eggplant recipe is smoky, spicy and bursting with flavor. Serve it on a bed of white rice as suggested or you could even turn it into a savory sandwich.

Get the recipe here.

6. Grilled Eggplant Tahini Satay

No, that's not chicken. That's eggplant. Delicious, delicious eggplant that is marinated in a citrusy, coconut-y tahini sauce and then is grilled to perfection. This is what your veggie friends want at the next barbecue, and your meat eater friends too.

Get the recipe here.

7. Loaded Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Herb Sauce

Take a break from grilling stuffed bell peppers and try stuffing eggplant with this hearty, umami recipe. A golden brown grilled eggplant is stuffed with a spiced nut meat crumble and topped with a cool herb sauce. Did I mention it's also vegetarian and Whole30?

Get the recipe here.

8. Grilled Eggplant Gyros with Tzatziki

Want a break from veggie burgers and portobello burgers? Give your main dish a tasty twist with this grilled eggplant recipe. A warm pita is stuffed with gyro spiced grilled eggplant, thin slices of red onion, fresh tomatoes, herbs and a homemade tzatziki. For a vegan or lactose-free option, you can replace the tzatziki with tahini instead.

Get the recipe here.

Chef's Note: Be sure to grill eggplant over medium-high heat for the best results.

9. Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

This recipe is a tasty way to give your ordinary summer sandwiches a delightful twist. To assemble, grill eggplant rounds, halloumi cheese and the bread until you achieve the desired grill marks. Then load it on the bread with slices of tomato, greens, and a dollop of pesto. For an even smokier flavor, try grilled tomato.

Get the recipe here.

10. Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini, and Peppers Salad

Give your summer salads a charred twist with this yummy recipe. A beautiful side to go with your spread, it's a grilled vegetable medley of zucchini, colorful mini peppers, and eggplant all tossed in a balsamic and apple cider vinaigrette. This would be great served with some grilled crostinis on the side and possibly some fresh feta cheese.

Get the recipe here.

11. Grilled Eggplant, Cherries, and Couscous Salad

This side dish is the embodiment of the seasonal flavors of summer. A heaping of eggplant, fresh corn and sweet ripe cherries are tossed into a bed of couscous and topped with fresh lemon juice, herbs and almonds. And to add even more depth, the grilled eggplant gives it a smoky twist. Next time you have a barbecue, add this fresh dish to the list.

Get the recipe here.

This article was originally published on July 27, 2018.

Watch: 7 Grilling Tips From America's Greatest Grill Masters.